Ginjas aka Ninjabread Men (hiya!)

I was very excited to take part in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014!!

And what else would I make other than NINJABREAD MEN?!!  

I found this awesome kit at the store, which included the cookie cutters.  However, I did make my own ginjabread dough and icing! 

These ginjas are just SO GREAT; and how funny are their faces?  Don't they make you want to yell "hiya!" when you hold 'em?  Make them fight and when a leg breaks off...EAT IT!!

Also, a super great gift to give to friends and family as Christmas is quickly approaching!

Ninjabread Men

Makes ~36

(recipe from Food.com)

ingredients

dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

3/4 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1 T ground ginger

1 3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 t ground cloves

6 T butter, unsalted

3/4 c dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 c. molasses

2 t vanilla

royal icing:

3 T meringue powder (Wilton)

4 c powdered sugar

5 T + 2 t warm water


method

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices.
  2.  In a mixing bowl beat butter, brown sugar and egg until blended.
  3. Add molasses and vanilla, mix well.
  4. Gradually add in dry ingredients and blend until just combined.
  5. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and form into a disk so it chills quicker.  Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator or ~30 mins in the freezer or until dough is firm but not frozen.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
  6. Place 1 section of dough on a lightly floured surface, flour rolling pin and top of dough.  Roll to a 1/4" thickness.
  7. Cut out ginjabread men shapes and place 1 1/2" apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-11 mins (the shorter time will yield softer cookies, but are more delicate).
  8. Remove from cookie sheet after 1 min and let cool on wire rack before frosting.
  9. To make the royal icing, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat for 7-10 mins until fluffy.  Add more water as necessary 1/2 t at a time.  The correct consistency is achieved when a line drawn by a knife run down the middle of the icing takes 10 seconds to smooth out.
  10. I used an OXO silicone decorating set to pipe the royal icing onto the cookies.
  11. Pipe royal icing around the edges of the cookies, adding arms and clothing details.  Add small beads of icing in desired spot and place candy on top to create a button.
  12. **When piping, begin to squeeze icing out, lift up to create space between the tip and the cookie.  Pipe with the line of icing as your guide and not the tip, laying down the string of icing where you want.  Here is a really good tutorial from One Tough Cookie on piping lines.
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